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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: February ::
Anthony Bacon
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0162.  Monday, 28 February 1994.
 
From:           William Robinson <
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Date:           Sunday, 27 Feb 1994 12:15:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Anthony Bacon is Shakespeare
 
   According to the Greek legend, the Phoenix is a lone beautiful
bird, the only one of its kind. It is said to live for nearly
five hundred years where it then begins to build a nest of dry
sticks and twigs while at the same time singing a melodious
dirge. When completed it then flaps its wings furiously setting
the nest on fire. Resting on top of the burning pile it slowly
consumes itself into ashes. It then rises from the ashes a new
bird equally alone and unique to live for another five hundred
years. The bird not only represents immortality but also an
individual who stands apart from the rest, a person of rare
qualities. In the play Cymbeline we find that Shakespeare was
truly aware of this when he compared Imogen with the Phoenix:
          If she be furnished with a mind so rare,
          She is alone the Arabian bird.
                                        I,vi.
Not only was Shakespeare aware of the symbolism behind the bird
but throughout Europe the comparison and significants comes up in
the literature of the time. There is an interesting comparison
made in a poem written to Anthony Bacon anonymously by some
European. It has survived the centuries by being packed away in a
bundle of correspondence written by and to Anthony Bacon and is
now safely housed at Lambeth Library in London:
 
          A. anglais phenix de celeste origine,
             (English phoenix of celestrial origin)
          N. Ne pour orner et la terre et les cieus:
             (Born to adorn the earth and the heavens)
          T. Ton renom bruit jusques aux envieux:
             (Thy renown clamours down even to the jealous)
          H. Honneur te sert, et vertu te domine:
             (Honorable you serve and virtually you dominate)
          O. Ornement seul de sagesse et doctrine,
             (Ornament of wisdom and doctrine)
          I. Jour, et clairte de tout coeur genereux:
             (light and clarity to all generous hearts)
          N. Nous ne scaurions regarder de nos yeux
             (When we no longer look at you with our eyes)
          E. Eternite qui devant toi chemine.
             (you will still walk though eternity)
 
          B. Bacon fior di virtu, raro e perfetto
          A. Animo pronto, angelico intelletto,
          C. Chiaro lume d'honor e caritade,
          O. Ornamento e belta di nostra etade,
          N. Natural real di fidelta pieno
          E. Essempio d'ogni bon sempre sereno.
 
So this anonymous European thought Mr Bacon was a man who like
the Phoenix, had a mind so rare and perfect, that there was no
other like him.
 
          O Anthony! O thou Arabian bird!
                    Anthony and Cleoprata III,ii.
 
   The above is an excerpt from one of several unpublished articles that I
have written centering around the life of Anthony Bacon. I am submitting it
to this forum for possible discussion in the hopes of getting more
information. So far the only sources loaded with information on the subject
have consisted of several books:
    du Maurier, Daphne, Golden Lads (which opened the door)
    Strachey, Lytton, Elizabeth and Essex
    Birch, Thomas, Memoirs of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth
    Spedding, James, The Life and Letters of Francis Bacon
 
   By far the most important discovery for me has been Anthony Bacon's
correspondence, which is housed in 16 volumes in the Lambeth Palace Library
in London. Luckily someone saw fit to put the entire contents on microfilm
in distribute it to several libraries throughout the United States. This
information has provided me with some interesting parallelisms with the
Shakespeare plays and has stimulated me to proceed further. Unfortunately
much of the correspondence is written in old english, latin, french, spanish
and in some instances in cipher. Anthony Bacon was well versed in several
languages having spent 12 years of his life living in Europe gathering
intelligence for Sir Francis Walsingham, Secretary of State under Queen
Elizabeth.
   Hooking up to Shaksper I hope will be a godsend to me and anybody who
has any information on Anthony Bacon please contact me. Equally so anybody
that wants to add pro or con to this discussion, come on in the waters
fine.
 
                                    Until next time
                                    William A Robinson
 

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